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Pictures of owls over the River Stort in Bishop's Stortford captured by Stortford Nature Facebook group photographer Rick Stead

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Owls have been making the most of the lockdown easing by spreading their wings in the skies over the River Stort.

Photographer Rick Stead, who is a member of the Stortford Nature group on Facebook, has captured these beautiful images of the birds out hunting.

"There are at least three pairs of owls between Spellbrook Lock and Feakes Lock," said Rick.

"The owls are easy to see and it is fascinating to watch them hunt. At this time of the year they take their prey back to the nest site to feed owlets.

"The easiest pair to spot are just south of Spellbrook Lock. Walk from the lock towards Sawbridgeworth and when meadows open up on either side of the river you are in their hunting area. I tend to see them from about 8pm onwards, but I have heard of them being seen even earlier.

"It is absolutely fabulous that we have so many breeding owl pairs in the area. Long may it continue - although the local field mice and voles may have a different view!"

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